I think it’s a good idea for each website to be updated each year. I mean, really updated, like a relatively major overhaul based on all of the things that were learned in the previous year. It normally takes a day to do the work, so it’s not too much to ask considering the massive impact it will have on your search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience (UX).
Smooth Transitions’ website was due for an update and I chose to move in the standard direction for me – simplification. As more and more visitors are using smartphones, the more and more critical it becomes that a website is easy to use and maneuver on a small screen. It usually means a lot of the flashy design aspects may need to be removed, but I have no problem doing that if it helps the website function in the way that it is intended.
The intention of Smooth Transitions’ website is to explain their service in a quick and easy way and to have the visitor submit their information through a contact form. It quickly shows that their service is related to newborn care and serves the Denver, Colorado area. This filters out anyone who may be looking for a different kind of care while keeping the people who might be interested, engaged.
Two major hurdles are, (1) most of the people who visit their website have no idea this type of service exists and (2) once they’re interested, they don’t have a clue how it all works. The content of the site quickly takes them through the journey without any extraneous information that might overwhelm them or make them think they’ll have to come back later to read through it all (aka never coming back!).
It’s simple, easy to scroll and takes them on a quick journey to the contact form.
Having a visitor complete and submit the contact form is the primary goal for the website since their service is best explained over the phone and in person. The contact form gives them the contact information they need to reach out to someone to have that conversation and make an appointment to meet with them.
Here’s the Before (please note: I downloaded this from Internet Archive and the benefit icons and form didn’t come through correctly):
The Changes I Made in This Update
In this update, I began with changing the theme from Sydney to GeneratePress. I also removed a bunch of plugins that were no longer necessary since the GeneratePress theme is so robust and includes add-ons that perform the functions of the plugins. These two steps alone got me much closer to my goal of a clean, simple and adaptable website.
The second order of business was to update the image from the header. This made the business name and tagline much easier to read. The picture was still immediately visible to tell the person they were on a website that dealt with babies and newborn care but wasn’t so pronounced it distracted them.
I removed a video, an image section, 3 images that were part of the ‘How It Work’s’ section of the page and an image next to the contact form. They weren’t completely necessary and required lots of scrolling to get to the text content.
I simplified the footer by removing the blog posts and social media links. I did this to keep the focus on the contact form. I didn’t want to give people an ‘easy way out’ of the website. The contact information remained but was simplified dramatically and combined with the main footer.
In case someone wasn’t quite ready to complete the contact form, I included 3 links that provided more background information and third party reviews on Yelp. The contact form is also at the bottom of the two internal pages if someone clicks on them, so they have a second chance to consider completing the form. The Yelp link opens in a new window, so the main website will stay open until they consciously close it out – again, giving them another chance to consider filling out the contact form.
The fonts were changed as well to give it a more upscale and fresh look.
Here’s the After:
If you would like to see the new website in all its glory, please visit the Smooth Transitions website.
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